Maitreyabandhu's After Cézanne: reviews & interviews

Maitreyabandhu's After Cézanne: reviews & interviews


'The writing is quiet, subtle, and makes the kind of surprising turns that are the mark of fine verse.’ – Fiona Sampson, The Guardian on After Cezanne


Buddhist poet Maitreyabandhu published his third Bloodaxe collection After Cézanne in October 2019. It followed his two previous Bloodaxe collections The Crumb Road, a Poetry Book Society Recommendation, and Yarn (2015).

After Cézanne is a sequence of fifty-six poems exploring the life and work of the post-impressionist painter Paul Cézanne. Reimagining his friendships with Zola and Pissarro, his impact on Matisse and Picasso, as well as his posthumous reputation, Maitreyabandhu celebrates Cézanne’s apples and card players in poems at once tender, urgent and amused. The book includes twenty-five colour reproductions and a preface by Christopher Lloyd (Surveyor of the Queen’s Pictures, 1988-2005).

Maitreyabandhu writes:

'After Cézanne’ is a collection of 56 poems about the life and influence of the Paul Cézanne. Cézanne has been an inspiration to me since I was at Goldsmiths Art College thirty years ago, so the poems come out of hundreds of hours of looking at his paintings, as well as reading his letters, reading biographies and critical studies, not to mention a wonderful trip to his studio. It has taken me five years to write.'



Urthona, Issue 36, 2022

An eight-page interview with Maitreyabandhu features in the new issue of the annual Buddhist glossy magazine Urthona.  He was speaking to Ratnaguna about his third collection After Cézanne, a sequence of fifty-six poems exploring the work of Paul Cézanne.  They spoke in depth about Maitreyabandhu’s training as an artist, about the art of Cézanne, and finally about the book itself.  The poems ‘The Apple’s Progress’, ‘The Black Clock’ and ‘This Painting of a Mountain’ were reproduced in full, along with two of the paintings the poems were about.

A full video of this conversation can be seen via the online Buddhist magazine Apramada here and below.


An exhibition on Cézanne is running at Tate Britain in London from 5 October 2022 to 12 March 2023.  After Cézanne is on sale in the Tate bookshop for the exhibition.


The Guardian, Best recent poetry, Saturday 2 November 2019

Maitreyabandhu's third collection After Cézanne was warmly reviewed in Fiona Sampson’s monthly round-up of the best recent poetry in The Guardian of 2 November 2019.  She called it a ‘profound and beautiful homage’.

‘…a verse biography is something new. But Maitreyabandhu’s After Cézanne moves from the life to the work and back again to examine the post-impressionist painter’s development. Packed with full-colour plates, with an introduction by art historian Christopher Lloyd, it also draws on the poet’s own art school training. The writing is quiet, subtle, and makes the kind of surprising turns that are the mark of fine verse.’ – Fiona Sampson, The Guardian

Read the full review here.


Times Literary Supplement, Friday 21 March 2020

After Cézanne was well reviewed in the TLS of 21 March 2020.

‘Bloodaxe have already published several colour-illustrated poetry collections, and this res¬ponse to “the Master of Aix” is one of their best: the large square format helps, allowing breathing space for poems and twenty-five paintings (these have been very well reproduced)… As guides to Cézanne’s pictures, the poems frequently illuminate, but they work on their own too, edging towards strict form in imaginative ways, attentive to line break and to fruitful – in every sense – ambiguity.’ – John Greening, Times Literary Supplement

Most of this review is available to read without subscription here.



Maitreyabandhu's After Cézanne was featured at the top of Michael Glover’s Christmas books feature in The Tablet of 30 November 2019. 

‘Seeking out a natural gift for Christmas? Try After Cézanne, a marvellous bringing together of paintings with poems in response both to the works themselves and to their maker, Paul Cézanne. This book offers us good reproductions of the paintings, poems which seem to shadow them, and just enough about the man himself to enable us to feel thoroughly rooted in his life. Part biography, part critical interpretation, part self-revelation, this delightful gathering, written by Maitreyabandhu, a Buddhist monk, is extraordinarily engaging and readable.’ – Michael Glover, The Tablet (Poetry Books for Christmas 2019)

Read in full here.



After Cézanne was given a pre-publication launch at the London Buddhist Centre on 21 September 2019.  Maitreyabandhu gave a reading in combination with a slideshow of Cézanne's paintings. He also read at Fire River Poets in Taunton, Somerset, on 5 September.  Click here to read their interview with Maitreyabandhu.


Maitreyabandhu reads 'Rilke Writes to His Wife from the Salon D'Automne' from After Cézanne:

[11 November 2019]

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